One dataset that generated quite a lot of interest amongst developers was New South Wales Crimes by offence type, month and Local Government Area (1995-2008). It is quite a comprehensive and complex bit of information and developers took a range of different approaches in presenting that information in their applications. All in all, there were 7 applications built with crime information as the main theme and several more where crime statistics were used as a complementary information. Here is a review of the most interesting submissions.
NSW Crime Explorer presents statistics in tables, graphs and on Google Map as thematic overlays (only 2008 data). Tables are very well laid out and are very easy to read despite that they contain very comprehensive set of information. I particularly like little graphs in each table row depicting trends over the 10 year period. There are also links to line graphs with monthly stats for each crime type (generated with Google Visualisation tools). A drop down list of all Local Government Areas enables easy navigation between locations of interest. The map is very basic but a selection of overlays for each crime type clearly shows where the offences were committed in 2008. The author has chosen 15 categories for data classification and it slightly blurs the clarity as to which areas are crime hotspots. Overall a very comprehensive presentation.
CrimeFinder is a mashup created with Silverlight and Bing Map. Thematic map shades Local Government Areas according to crime rate or absolute numbers of crimes committed. Different crime types can be selected from a drop-down list. Mouse-click on a particular area brings up a line graph showing comparative trends in crimes for NSW and the selected LGA. Mouse-over function highlights particular boundary and brings up summary information for the area. Slider filters allow setting start and end dates for data to be presented on the map as well as enable adjusting transparency level of the overlays. Redraw of LGA boundaries on the map is very smooth on zooming and panning which is quite an achievement considering it is all vector data.
NSW Crime Map demonstrates yet another approach to presenting crime statistics with Google Map and Google Visualisation tools. The number of crimes committed in major NSW regions, in any given month, is represented as dots on the map. Size of those dots is proportional to the number of committed offences. Different crime types are selectable from a list next to the map and selection of dates is done with a slider tool. Dynamic graph under the map displays monthly counts of incidents between 1995 to 2008.
How Safe Is Your Suburb is an application created with commercial software integrated with Google Map and Flash graphics. Crime data is presented in four different ways: based on geographic distribution (thematic map with data table), as a cross tabulation of offence by type and year (pie chart and data table), as a cross tabulation of year of the offence and type by Local Government Area (with line graph and data tables) and as summary statistics highlighting the most dangerous regions in NSW.
NSW Crime is a very simple mashup presenting crime data in two columns and a Google Map with location points depicting user selected Local Government Areas. The first data column contains a list of LGAs and counts of all crimes committed in those areas. The second column lists various types of offences and counts for a selected LGA. There is also an option to specify time range for calculating statistics. Simple approach yet allowing to show a wealth of information.